Water Taxi Beach South Street Seaport
Sun, sand and Skee-Ball come to the Seaport.
Tue Aug 11 2009
Photographs: Daniel Krieger
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5
New Yorkers have but a few warm months to drink alfresco, so when summer arrives, we take to every cramped sidewalk, packed rooftop and dank alley masquerading as a "garden" to throw a few back in the sunshine. Water Taxi Beach at the South Street Seaport is one of those rare spots that offers coveted elbow room, booze in spades, and a panoramic view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Despite the stunning East River vista, this location (there are two more, on Governers Island and in Long Island City) doesn't quite transform the touristy Seaport. Family-friendly trappings like minigolf, Ping-Pong and Skee-Ball—and, of course, the 300 tons of trucked-in sand that approximates an urban seashore—can make for an awkward scene during busy afternoons, with kids stepping over sunbathers and fun-seeking hipsters queued up while grade-schoolers monopolize the games. But the grown-ups do have cocktails—basic warm-weather staples (sangria, margaritas, daiquiris) and summery beers (Peroni, Sixpoint IPA, Brooklyn Weisse). Red-wine sangria is chock-full of fruit and refreshing margaritas are made to order, though their quality varies depending on how busy the bartender is. A grill includes cookout fare such as decent fish tacos and juicy Angus beef hot dogs available a few different ways (topped with chili, rolled in a crispy tortilla). The Friday and Saturday night parties are meant to draw a hipper crowd, with DJs spinning everything from house to forgotten disco hits. But the cover charges (usually around $10) seem to deter locals, while out-of-towners appear more willing to cough up the cash. The beach's few missteps, however, don't soil the singular experience of sipping a drink at the river's edge.—TONY